Today on Far Future Horizons we explore a mystery from antiquity – what cause the collapse of civilization during the Bronze Age?
The Bronze Age collapse is the name given by historians and archaeologists for the sudden transitions seen in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean archaeological record from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age. Many see this transition as violent, sudden and culturally disruptive. The palace economies of the Aegean and Anatolia which characterised the Late Bronze Age were replaced, after a hiatus, by the isolated village cultures of the Ancient Dark Age.
Between 1206 and 1150 BCE, the cultural collapse of the Mycenaean kingdoms, the Hittite Empire in Anatolia and Syria, and the Egyptian Empire in Syria and Canaan interrupted trade routes and extinguished literacy. In the first phase of this period, almost every city between Troy and Gaza was violently destroyed, and often left unoccupied thereafter: examples include Hattusa, Mycenae, and Ugarit.
|Invasions, destruction and possible population movements during the collapse of the Bronze Age, ca. 1200.|
Today’s video feature “Secrets of the Aegean Apocalypse” focuses on the collapse of the Mycenaean kingdoms of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Around 1,200 BC, an ancient Armageddon destroyed nearly every known civilization. What could have caused it?
The theories are many, but most now include one mysterious and massively destructive factor – a force only the Egyptians survived to name: The Sea People.
Who were these warriors and how could they take down the world’s greatest powers in a span of just 50 years? Scale the dizzying heights of Crete’s mountain fortress with archaeologist Krzysztof Nowicki as he searches for clues.
I encourage our readers to read "1177 B.C. : The Year Civilization Collapsed (Turning Points in Ancient History)" by Eric H. Cline
In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the “Sea Peoples” invaded Egypt. The pharaoh’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen?
In this major new account of the causes of this “First Dark Ages,” Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries.
A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age—and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.
Secrets of the Aegean Apocalypse is available on DVD from Amazon Books.
Secrets of the Aegean Apocalypse
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